When they outline exercise programs, they usually tell men to do high intensity with moderate repetitions, using more weight and force to build bulk in the muscle.
Women, on the other hand, are told to do moderate intensity exercises with a high number of repetitions to shape long, lean, and flexible muscle tone.
Women’s work, you see, is never done. Men can do big bursts of heavy work and then rest, but women are expected to continuously do their work, somewhat less strenuous but much more regular, always there.
This difference is seen through all the parts of a woman’s life. As a mommy, women are always on duty, keeping an eye or an ear out to monitor the situation, doing all the jobs that moms have to tend to, from cooking to cleaning to negotiating to reminding to training and on and on and on.
A woman’s work really is never done. You see that when families send the kids out into the world. Men often think that means they can rest more, hitting the couch and finding a favourite TV channel, while women think that means they can finally move beyond mommy and get back to following their own dreams.
For transwomen who worked hard to live as men, this switch to a woman’s regimen is often daunting. They didn’t learn how to do little things all the time to build a life, instead thinking that doing a few big things and resting was the real way to success. It becomes easy for them to just want to skip the details, dismiss work that is lower than their status — just women’s work — and just demand that the big picture is all that counts. They see the men around them still enjoying the privilege of arrogance, doing heavy lifts then bragging about it, and they wonder why they can’t still do the same as women.
Rather than setting an ambitious objective and working towards that, women have learned to commit to the process of continuous improvement. Small steps in a curving path allow us to take the time to do what is important in the moment, to pay attention and offer the work that is needed right now by the people in front of us.
Details are important to women, as they show with their appearance. Being aware of details is always work, continuous aware work.
To make the choices of a woman in the world is to embrace the idea that a woman’s work, no matter how small it may seem, has value. It requires understanding that a woman’s work, serving those she is in relationship with, serving her world and serving her own vision and knowledge is never done.
The difference between gendered behaviour is not prose. Women can do everything that men can do and vice versa.
The difference between gendered behaviour is poetry. Women take a different approach, follow a slightly different beat, have different priorities in their approach to tasks.
Those approaches are not contradictory, the are complimentary, polished by thousands of years of human civilization. Women are the mommies, men are the daddies, and together, with the help of other gender roles, we build a vital community.
Woman’s work is never done. And women’s work always creates a more detailed, more caring and more beautiful world.